Friday, December 22, 2017

Student Data Privacy v2.0

On December 12, 2017, the BVSD Board of Education adopted a Student Data Privacy Policy, as mandated by the state. In response to the rapid advance of technology, this is the first time our district has had a robust policy around data privacy. The wording was adapted from the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) model policy that was developed by district leaders from all around the state last year.

There were three placeholders put into the BVSD policy for us to continue to research: Chrome sync, data sharing for research purposes, & centralized vetting of apps. My team is currently working with the District Technology Advisory Committee (DTAC) and Tech Contacts to determine pros & cons for each item, which will be brought back to the board for further review. For more information on each topic, please see below:

1. Chrome Sync
When a user signs in using their Google account, Chrome will sync bookmarks, history, passwords, extensions, and other settings across devices. This allows the user to continue working in a consistent, personalized environment no matter what device they are using. This would affect all users, but specifically, BVSD students who use shared devices such as carts, computer labs, and library computers. For additional information, please see this video.

2. Data Sharing
BVSD has worked in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and research organizations to participate in Data Sharing Agreements to gather anonymous student data for analysis for research purposes. For example, BVSD has shared anonymized student data with an organization studying the correlation between air quality and absences due to respiratory issues in our schools. Parties wishing to partner with BVSD for research must engage in the district’s Research Review Process. This process includes procedures that align with BVSD Board Policies regarding data privacy, requiring student anonymity, to ensure that research will benefit the district and/or education.

3. Centralized Vetting of Apps
Vetting applications means evaluating them for both their instructional use and student safety and data privacy. Vetting can be done by:
  • IT personnel
  • Curriculum specialists in Instructional Services & Equity
  • Teachers & Teacher Librarians
  • Students
Currently, we require a Data Privacy Addendum (DPA) from every vendor that we contract with to purchase software. Additionally, we soon will be asking teachers to watch this video, vet, and list free click-through applications that they are using in their classrooms. Centralized vetting would mean that this responsibility would shift to district personnel.

What's Next?
Teachers will soon get their biannual survey, required by law, to add any apps and/or websites, they use to this list. If you are a teacher, please be on the lookout for this required action early in 2018.

It is essential that we all stay compliant with the law and engage in transparent communication with our community around this important issue of keeping student data private!

Please chime in below with your comments.


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